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Where to purchase audio for textbook "thought and society" (used at IUP, ICLP, MTC...)


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  • Demands for speaking (output) are low; students are not forced to speak until ready

This is quoted from your link, it doesn't disallow speaking merely that is should happen when the student is ready and importantly shouldn't be "forced"

 

So speaking from the beginning for me was fine because I was ready and I wasn't forced.

 

I should clarify I didn't start speaking from day one, although there was some intensive practice of vowels and finals but in lesson 3 we did utter 你好 and thereafter spoke in each lesson. As things progressed we spoke more freely and not just reading sentences from the text. 

 

I understand the concepts in the article you linked to but why can't it happen in conjunction with speaking? 

 

It is only a hypothesis - "a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation."

 

One final point/question is this hypothesis for learning all languages? I sometimes think generalisations about language learning don't always fit the Chinese language.

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44 minutes ago, Shelley said:

it doesn't disallow speaking merely that is should happen when the student is ready and importantly shouldn't be "forced"

I read "need to start speaking as early as possible" as some form of pressure.

 

44 minutes ago, Shelley said:

why can't it happen in conjunction with speaking?

Because "language output is not seen as having any effect on learners' ability"?

 

57 minutes ago, Shelley said:

It is only a hypothesis

Yes, it's only a hypothesis, and it has its critics.

But its supporters believe for a student to speak "too early" is detrimental while you seem to believe it can't be "too early" because "you need to speak as early as possible." May I ask why? Babies don't start speaking for I don't know how long...

 

1 hour ago, Shelley said:

I sometimes think generalisations about language learning don't always fit the Chinese language.

For example?

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One major difference is the lack of an alphabet.

 

8 minutes ago, Publius said:

I read "need to start speaking as early as possible" as some form of pressure.

 

Maybe need was the wrong choice here, "benefit from" would be better.

 

I really find it hard to come to terms with 

11 minutes ago, Publius said:

language output is not seen as having any effect on learners' ability

 

It seems counter-intuitive.

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17 hours ago, Publius said:

Babies don't start speaking for I don't know how long

 

I also meant to respond to this - we are not babies, we already understand the concept of language and how to make sounds, we are way above the level of a baby when as an adult we learn a second language, which ever language you choose.

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Yes, we are superior in a lot of ways. But we also have the problem of already having acquired our native language, which interferes with our accent and grammar in the target language. A lot of people that output from the beginning have to spend a lot of time to fix their bad habits later on.

Also, in the speaking early can be really frustrating. It's much easier once you already can understand most of what you listen to.

 

So let me ask you, why should we speak from the beginning, when speaking later has no disadvantages, but speaking too early does? As you said, this isn't a race. Language learning is a lifelong process. So why shouldn't we wait a year or two until starting to output?

 

18 hours ago, Shelley said:

It seems counter-intuitive.

 

At first glance it does indeed. But speaking isn't practising. Speaking is when you use what you've acquired before. Learning to play the piano vs. giving a concert.

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3 minutes ago, Wurstmann said:

Learning to play the piano vs. giving a concert.

 

I am not sure this is a good example, because you definitely play the piano a lot before giving a concert, in fact you may practice for years and never give a concert but still get immense pleasure from playing for yourself.

 

I think this is a very complicated subject, my experience is only from how I learn and its only my opinion. I am not an expert in learning methods and I never said I was I was just expressing my views.

 

I think this topic has been exhausted and the original topic has well and truly been derailed.

 

I don't want to continue batting the ball around anymore, I am going to go and learn some Chinese from my textbook speaking along with my mp3🎧

 

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38 minutes ago, Shelley said:

we already understand the concept of language and how to make sounds

No we don't.

We don't know how other languages work. We only have a vague idea how our own works. A native speaker's sense of right and wrong is based on statistics. To build a statistical model for another language, we need huge amount of input.

We also don't know how to make strange sounds that are not in our native language. It's generally accepted that beyond a certain age we lost the ability to make all possible sounds available to human and are not likely to acquire a native-like accent. In this respect babies are far better learner than us.

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Hmm I still don't think that analogy is what your after, because you don't learn to play the piano at a concert nor would you learn to speak Chinese at your interview for that teaching job in Beijing.

 

@Publius I agree with you in part, but still we have more idea of what language is than a baby, we have lost the clean slate but we have gained experience and skills.

 

I will leave this to you guys to debate, I really must go and learn some Chinese:)

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I wish I'd somehow been able to study Chinese from scratch where for 10 months I didn't speak a single word - but instead worked through an audio-heavy beginner's textbook (textbook gah!) so I got to the stage where I could hear any sentence from the book and be able to understand it and write it out in pinyin and hanzi. Followed by a two-month intensive pronunciation course.

But each to their own!

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57 minutes ago, Wurstmann said:

Learning to play the piano vs. giving a concert.

 

This is actually the exact same analogy (word for word) I tell young students about doing English homework. The homework is practice. I provide charts and plenty of example sentences for the students to use as a guide for when they answer the questions (grammar). Homework is the time for them to take it easy, take their time, use the charts and examples to help them and get it right (practising the piano so to speak). The times they have a test at school is the equivalent to giving the concert, where all of their patient  hard work will pay off. 

 

Personally, I'm a fan of lots of listening and speaking before you even see the written form (or pinyin in this case) of the language. 

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It’s a matter of trade offs with the time that you have. How important is the written form at the beginning? I have come to think the written form of reading is apportioned too much time at the beginning. Like @mackie1402 I now value listening and speaking (with more time on listening) before the written form.

 

Funnily enough, I just had a conversation last night with native mandarin speaker who asked me whether I was reading much. I replied not very much because my main objective is to be able to understand and speak to people rather than read a book. I understand reading does have its merits. However, when you see that so many Chinese people can read in English but struggle with verbal communication, you have to think reading and writing have been overemphasised.

 

@realmayo it was because of this very forum that after about four months of going through the usual online lessons, I decided to do an intensive course on pronunciation and pinyin exercises. I had read about how people had learnt mandarin for a year and their vocalisation was so poor to be incomprehensible. I like to think that has paid off as I seem to get decent comments on my mandarin. This is considering that heritage learners get held to different standards.

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13 hours ago, Shelley said:

Hmm I still don't think that analogy is what your after, because you don't learn to play the piano at a concert nor would you learn to speak Chinese at your interview for that teaching job in Beijing.

 

That's not what I said. Listening etc. is learning to play the piano. Speaking is the performance. Of course you have to speak a lot to get good at speaking, simply because your mouth isn't used to move in that way and it takes practise to put your thoughts into words. But that has nothing to do with grammar or vocabulary.

If you delay speaking until after you have a good model of the language in your head you will hear when your accent or grammar is off, and the right words will just come out. If you start speaking too early you have to construct sentences with the grammar rules you've learned. This can lead to unnatural or simply wrong sentences a native would never use. And you won't hear when your pronunciation is off.

 

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This conversation really developed into something else. Anyway, I emailed SMC publishing regarding the audio for this book. The response was interesting but essentially not that useful if the goal is buying the audio. 

 

In a nutshell, they don’t provide audio for the book. Only the version published by NTU (International Chinese language program) does include audio. However, I cannot see that for sale by NTU online. SMC provided a link to NTU but it’s not a shop page, just a description of various books they use. 

 

I think unless you were or are a student on the course that uses this book OR there is an NTU shop you could visit in person then it’s unlikely audio is available to buy. Even then it may just be some ripped/burned copy as mentioned above. As a result, I think the Dropbox files are fine. More than that, they are super super helpful for anyone on here who wants to look at that textbook but can’t attend the actual course at NTU. 

 

I don’t even have this book (yet) but this kind of thing really annoys me. Why make something so difficult? By now the audio is probably pretty worthless (financially to NTU) so why not just make it a free download/stream on NTU? Rather than making people literally hunt it down... 

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  • 3 years later...
Quote

I hope no one coming new to this topic is under the impression that this textbook is some kind of magic bullet.....

 

....If what I've pasted below would take you an hour or two to basically memorise, so you know all the vocab and could discuss the contents of each sentence with someone - without the text or any notes in front of you - then you're probably at the right level to find the textbook useful.

 

Thanks RealMayo for posting the audios. I was really curious about the level and awestruck before. People pay thousands of dollars to attend the class where this is taught. Listening to the first audio clip, I was "shocked" how much I could understand. I would say it is somewhere between HSK 4 and 5 on TheChairMansBao. At first glance, it does not strike me as so "special" afterall.

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Interesting. I wonder if your response kind of highlights the different approaches people have towards textbooks. For some people, they are just a collection of texts that you simply read to understand, and then maybe learn any new vocab, and quickly move on. So I think I now understand when people say 'you should quickly move on to native-speaker materials'. And that's absolutely one good path to follow.

 

But another way of using textbook texts - and this includes the ICLP way - is to study the text so intensively that you've basically memorised it all. So that, without the textbook in front of you, you can still discuss every single sentence, the meaning of every sentence, and you can use the grammar or pattern or vocabulary of every sentence to construct and drill new sentences.

 

For the first method (read-to-understand and move on) the quality of the texts probably isn't so important. But for the second method, of course it's super important. It's got to be really useful grammar/vocab, because you don't want to spend so much time listening to and analysing and memorising texts that don't have anything useful in them

 

And the point of that Thought & Society book is that every text is jam-packed with useful things, that's what makes it special. You move from 'kind of understanding that grammar/pattern because you've seen it before' to being able to internalise it, use it, welcome it when you next come across it because now you understand how and why a native speaker wants to use it themselves.

 

So in short, each 15 minutes of audio (the length of each text in the book) requires about 8 hours of listening and preparation!

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On 5/17/2022 at 10:40 AM, realmayo said:

But another way of using textbook texts - and this includes the ICLP way - is to study the text so intensively that you've basically memorised it all. So that, without the textbook in front of you, you can still discuss every single sentence, the meaning of every sentence, and you can use the grammar or pattern or vocabulary of every sentence to construct and drill new sentences.

 

On 5/17/2022 at 10:40 AM, realmayo said:

So in short, each 15 minutes of audio (the length of each text in the book) requires about 8 hours of listening and preparation!

 

This is really interesting. At first glance, an odd approach and I do not mean to judge it, but to say it sounds antiquated (?) At least in reminds me of my grandpa, who "had to" learn Goethe's Faust by heart as it is "the pinnacle of German literature".

 

I am sure there are plenty of language teachers on this board and I wonder, if this approach is still being used in the west at this stage. 

I am not saying it does not work. Whenever you spend 8 hours on a 15 minute audio, you are bound to make huge improvements. But, would 2-3 hours (each) on two not so "perfect" texts we less effective?

 

 

Does anybody know where to find a simplified Chinese version of the "thought and society"?

(Or an OCRed ebook version for that matter?)

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Eating vegetables grown without chemicals is also old-fashioned, but maybe better than the modern standard! :mrgreen: Also some people praise the more current ideas of 'shadowing' or 'chorusing' - and those are very similar to what you'd be doing with the audio in the method I describe above. The ultimate aim is to internalise natural language that's worth internalising.

 

I didn't mention the importance of a good teacher: you need a teacher (one-on-one or very small classes) who can make sure that you really have understood what you've learned, and who will drill you on it.

 

On 5/17/2022 at 11:51 AM, Jan Finster said:

But, would 2-3 hours (each) on two not so "perfect" texts we less effective?

 

I don't think it would be less effective: I really think the method is more important than the text. My annoyance with the HSK6 texts is that they're short and boring, unrewarding! But if I decide to take the HSK6 exam, I still think I'd study them using this intensive method. I don't think there's an ebook of Thought & Society, nor a version in simplified. As I say, any decent textbook should probably be an OK substitute*, I'd guess. I sometimes use the same method with TV discussion shows if there's a transcript or subtitles.

 

Here's 5 mins of that video I linked to elsewhere where @OneEye talks about the method - I'm genuinely surprised it's not more commonly used or at least discussed. He says it changed the way he studied Chinese. https://youtu.be/vMUqwb1kMdY?t=1092

 

*Edit: I just came across this sentence in the HSK6 book talking about automatic shopping advice:

...在那儿一系列选择题会为你提供决策支持和购买建议。

决策支持 strikes me as a bit unnatural or forced? Could you imagine someone saying this sentence out loud? I would say that the texts this method works best for texts that are easy to imagine spoken, either because they are dialogues, or could easily be someone standing up giving a more formal lecture.

 

 

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